For the past ten years, Erica Franklin has operated the Wild Rose Pony Club Day Camp in Phenix City, Alabama. Children, from the ages of 8-16 years, learn natural horsemanship skills as well as horse care and maintenance. Ground work with the horses is emphasized as the students learn both English and western riding disciplines.
Franklin recognized a teaching opportunity was at hand when three of her lesson ponies needed dental exams and Coggins tests. She chose Auburn University’s Large Animal Teaching Hospital to provide the service. On June 2, Franklin loaded the ponies and campers for a trip to Auburn.
When the group arrived, attending clinician Dr. Allison Stewart and internal medicine resident Dr. Elaine Norton, along with veterinary technicians and senior veterinary students, took the ponies and students under their wings. The girls’ excitement and thirst for knowledge was infectious as the faculty, staff, and students worked on their beloved ponies.
The ladies of the Wild Rose Pony Club toured the Large Animal Teaching Hospital and gained insight on the life of a veterinarian. Prior to leaving, the group weighed on the large animal scale - 1345 pounds of equine excitement!
By Megan Pittenger
Megan is a Ross University student completing her senior clinical year at Auburn University.
The John Thomas Vaughan Large Animal Teaching Hospital is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for emergencies (no referral needed) and during regular business hours for referral or local equine cases.
Local children’s groups (with supervision) are welcome to visit the hospital to see routine vaccinations, deworming, Coggins testing, and dental procedures performed on their ponies and horses. With prior arrangement, tours of the facility can be included.
For groups with horses and ponies, contact the Large Animal Teaching Hospital, (334) 844-4490.
For tours only, contact the Office of Academic Affairs, (334) 844-3696.